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of mediation; God's gift of his beloved Son as our Saviour; his affording, to the fallen race of man, a divine revelation; the proclamation of peace by the ministry of reconciliation; the display of gracious designs in gospel institutions; with the promise of his Holy Spirit to the believing, pardon to the penitent, and eternal salvation to obedient Christians,—are all expressive of exchibitory grace. These representations are only suitable means of a gracious inoral government; they put no law in the mind, they open no blind eyes, unstop no deaf ears, unlock the door of no heart, without subjective grace. To the former belongs a universality of aspect and intention; it is the glad tidings of great joy sent to all nations, as in the course of providence a door of access is opened : it is grace in its external dispensation, proposed to free agents, who are the subjects of a gracious moral government. To the latter belongs the actual existence of divine influence in the souls of individuals, whereby they are enriched with life and light, and whereby exhibited blessings become effectual to salvation. To the one, the agency of man stands essentially related; to the other, his passiveness as a subject of antecedent benefits. Without exhibitory grace, how could any be judged according to the gospel? Without subjective grace preventing us that we may have a good will, what soul could be saved?
§ 7. Many discordant passages in his Lord . ship’s discourse about faith, are owing to an oversight of the momentous difference subsisting between this grace considered as a principle and as a duty. In the former sense, it is the gift of God; in the latter, it is the act of man. The promises made to faith, regard it as the act and duty of man; who, on believing, receives justifica- . tion, and grace for grace. By faith, in this sense, the believer looks unto Jesus, trusts in him for righteousness and strength, relies upon the promises, overcomes the world, and walks in the path of duty. By faith, in the other sense, he is made morally able to belive with the heart, and to perform, in the way of duty, other fiducial acts required. The one is, in a sense, of ours. selves, because it is our own act; the other is exclusively from God, who quickeneth whom he will, and who bestows his blessings, as a sovereign Benefactor, according to the profundity of his wisdom. Faith, as a duty, is itself a good work, and draws other good works in its train, as exemplified in the eleventh chapter of the epistle to the Hebrews; but faith, as a principle, is no good work of ours, but “ of the operation of God,” enabling the soul “to do those things which are pleasing in his sight,” Faith, as a divine principle, or when taken figuratively for its object, or for its foundation, stands opposed to works, in several
passages of the apostolic writings; but faith, as a duty, is included in works.
$ 8. Some incongruities are obvious in the chapter which treats of justification for want of distinguishing the different relations which a justified person bears. In scriptural acceptation, a person is considered as justified in Christ, by grace, by faith, and by works. Justification in Christ, expresses the relation of union to him, effected by an act of divine sovereign prerogative. Justification by grace, expresses the relation of our personal unworthiness, who, had it not been for grace providing a substitute, must have continued guilty, and under condemnation. Justification by faith, expresses the relation of an arraigned criminal who is set at the bar of divine justice to plead his defence in opposition to the charge of being destitute of a perfect righteousness. A perfection of righteousness is required by divine law and justice; and in this respect it is hopeless to appeal to “works of righteousness which we have done.” Divine revelation affords a testimony respecting Christ, that he is " the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth;" this testimony, and his belief in it, the arraigned criminal pleads in his defence, and is regarded as justified. Justification, by works, expresses the relation of a moral subject perpetually amenable to the law
of right and wrong, commonly termed the the moral law. In meeting this charge, it is not enough to plead that Christ is the end of the law, that grace has prepared a remedy, and that the divine testimony is believed; for these pleas have been and still are admitted. It may be urged, you are still amenable to a rule of moral obedience, which, if you despise, it is a proof that your plea of an interest in the former privileges is a shallow pretence: since no one who has a genuine regard for, and faith in Christ, rejects his yoke. Bring the genuineness of your faith and the sincerity of your profession to this test. “Shew me thy faith by thy works.” As the charge is want of works, it is evident that no plea can be urged for justification from the charge, but the actual works required. And as these are justifying evidences in this life, so they will be at the last judgment, when the enquiry will be instituted, not only what have you believed, but also what have you done?
§ 9. In examining the
Refutation” we have met with some incongruous passages respecting redemption, which might have been avoided by means of the important distinction between the price, or valuable consideration, and the actual deliverance. The former is indefinite, as appears from the nature of the demand; the obedience and sacrifice must be of
infinite worth, or else of no worth at all, to answer the demands of law and justice. What is of infinite value cannot be in itself restricted ; and therefore its aspect, when revealed and
proposed to men, must necessarily be indefinite. ✓But actual deliverance is a personal concern.
Christ having assumed our nature, lived a perfect character, and died a meritorious death, abstractedly considered, actually delivers no person. This latter benefit is a definite effect for the sake of an infinite, and therefore indefinite price. The means, or the price, of redeeming us from the curse of the law, was the Saviour's being made a curse for us ; but the redemption itself is our personal deliverance from guilt and condemnation, from sin and the power of satan, and from the grave.
§ 10. In treating of Predestination to life, his Lordship, as we have seen at large, has offered great violence to the Articles of his own Church, and has made them speak a language replete with contradiction. This he might have escaped, if he had regarded Predestination as a divine purpose respecting a series of beneficent events, instead of regarding it, as he has done, in an isolated point of view. That predestination, and that only, is consistent with itself, which never separates the means from the end, but includes the former as indispensably